Getting Too Cozy During Quarantine
Dear Annie: When COVID hit, my boyfriend and I -- who already lived together -- began spending every waking minute together, as we were both working from home. I honestly loved it. I never get tired of him. For the past two years, I love that we have been able to eat lunch together every day, chat with each other between meetings and be in each other's presence 24/7.
Recently, he told me that his company would fund him renting an office at a coworking space, and he is going to do so. I offered to come with him some days, and he said that he would be more productive if he went by himself. I can't help but be offended by this. I get the appeal of having an actual office space, but why would he want to go back to being apart all day? -- Gotten Too Comfortable
Dear Gotten Too Comfortable: COVID put a lot of relationships to the test -- especially when the couple lives together. Your relationship thrived. Congratulations!
Just because your boyfriend wants his own space to work does not mean he doesn't love you and miss you throughout the day. In fact, he probably has such a hard time working from home precisely because he's tempted to spend his working hours hanging out with you instead of being productive. A little space is a good thing in a healthy relationship. As a compromise, you can suggest doing lunch with your boyfriend once or twice a week.
Dear Annie: My estranged brother died suddenly. We had not spoken in three years. One of my oldest friends dismissed my grief in words and actions, on the grounds that since he wasn't in my life, I shouldn't feel the loss. He was my only sibling. There were no services, so closure is difficult. I am angry with this friend because she was the only one who didn't acknowledge my loss. What is my best course of action? -- Sad and Angry
Dear Sad and Angry: I'm sorry for your loss. Even if your brother was not in your life, siblings share a unique bond. You grew up together. You share blood. Do not let your friend's dismissive words invalidate your feelings. Instead, explain to her that an estranged brother is a brother all the same, and you need time to grieve.
I also suggest that you plan something to commemorate him -- even something small. Plant a tree in his memory. Gather friends and family, and share stories about him. Do something to honor his life and give yourself a sense of closure.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.